Department of Employment and Labour and Huawei reach agreement on employment equity

 ·15 Mar 2022

The Department of Employment and Labour and Huawei Technologies South Africa have reached an out of court settlement, following the department’s application to the Labour Court on 11 February 2022.

The two parties met on Monday (14 March) to conclude discussions and finalise a settlement.

On 11 February, the department announced that it filed court papers against Huawei Technologies South Africa due to non-compliance with employment equity policies.

Huawei Technologies South Africa was audited in 2020 and found to be non-compliant in that they employ approximately 90% foreign nationals, which violates the Employment Equity Policy (EAP), it said.

The Department said it has accepted Huawei South Africa’s employment equity plan which addresses equitable representation of South Africans to above 50% within three years, especially from designated groups as defined in the Employment Equity Act.

In addition, in a joint attempt to address South Africa’s digital divide and ICT skills gap, Huawei and DoEL have agreed to collaborate on skilling the unemployed, which is an investment in youth upskilling and employment; an important pillar in achieving the country’s targets for economic growth, particularly in digital technologies.

The Development Programme, which includes internships, aligns with the duration of the employment equity plan period, and will draw on candidates from the designated groups, especially women and those from rural areas, sourced from the DoEL database.

“The parties see this as a win-win, as it fosters a public and private partnership that facilitates the transfer of skills, while also addressing the issue of unemployment by creating jobs in the ICT sector,” said advocate Fikiswa Bede, the chief director, Statutory and Advocacy Services, at the Department of Employment and Labour.

Both the Department of Employment and Labour and Huawei have expressed mutual satisfaction with the outcome.

Read: Government in talks with Huawei South Africa to settle out of court over hiring violations

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